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Eur J Clin Invest. 2015 Sep;45(9):925-31. doi: 10.1111/eci.12486. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Ursodeoxycholyl Lysophosphatidylethanolamide modifies aberrant lipid profiles in NAFLD.

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Department of Internal Medicine IV, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Department of General Pediatrics, Division of Inborn Metabolic Diseases, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



Hepatic fat accumulation with disturbed lipid homoeostasis is a hallmark of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The bile acid phospholipid conjugate Ursodeoxycholyl lysophosphatidylethanolamide (UDCA-LPE) is a novel anti-inflammatory agent with hepatoprotective effects in murine high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD. The aim of this work was to study changes in the hepatic lipidome due to UDCA-LPE.


High fat diet mouse model, mass spectometry, RT-PCR.


Hepatic lipid extracts of HFD mice were analysed by mass spectrometry. The results determined higher levels of total, saturated, mono- and diunsaturated fatty acids (FA) in HFD mice, which were decreased by UDCA-LPE predominantly by the reducing the most abundant FA species palmitic acid and oleic acid. Unlike other FA species, levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), which are composed of arachidonic acid (ARA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were increased in HFD mice upon UDCA-LPE treatment, mainly due to elevated hepatic ARA pools. Analysis of hepatic phospholipids species showed a decrease in total phosphatidylcholine (PC), especially monounsaturated PC (PUFA-PC) levels in HFD mice. Loss of total PC was reversed due to UDCA-LPE by increasing hepatic PUFA-PC pools. Gene expression analysis showed that UDCA-LPE upregulated PPARα, a key transcriptional regulator of fatty acid oxidation, as well as downstream target genes CPT1α and AOX, which are crucially involved in mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation.


UDCA-LPE modulates defective fatty acid metabolism during experimental NAFLD thereby restoring altered lipid profiles in addition to its pronounced anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, UDCA-LPE may be a promising drug candidate for the management of NAFLD.


Fatty acid composition; UDCA-LPE; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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